• Identity Theft Prevention

    Office of the General Counsel

    Policy/Purpose

    The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, via regulations known as the Red Flags Rule, requires the University to develop and implement a program to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of a covered account or any existing covered account.

    The above-referenced program relies on the identification of and response to red flags that might indicate the existence of identity theft.

    Definitions

    Account means a continuing relationship established by a person with the University to obtain a product or service for personal, family, household, or business purposes. Account includes:

    1. an extension of credit, such as the purchase of property or services involving a deferred payment; and
    2. a deposit account.

    Covered account means:

    1. an account that the University offers or maintains, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, that involves or is designed to permit multiple payments or transactions; and
    2. any other account that the University offers or maintains for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk to customers or to the safety and soundness of the University from identity theft, including financial, operational, compliance, reputation, or litigation risks.

    Customer means a person who has a covered account with the University.

    Identity theft means a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority.

    Red flag means a pattern, practice, or specific activity that indicates the possible existence of identity theft. See Appendix A for categories and examples of red flags.

    Service provider means a person that provides a service directly to the University.

    PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

    The President of the University shall designate an appropriate individual to serve as the Program Administrator. The Program Administrator will be involved in the oversight, development, implementation, and administration of the program.

    IDENTIFICATION AND DETECTION OF RED FLAGS

    The University shall identify relevant red flags for the covered accounts it offers or maintains, where sources of red flags include but are not limited to:

    1. incidents of identity theft that the University has experienced,
    2. methods of identity theft that the University has identified that reflect changes in identity theft risks, and
    3. applicable supervisory guidance.

    The University shall be alert to detect identified red flags and shall endeavor to prevent identity theft by means such as:

    1. obtaining identifying information about, and verifying the identity of, a person opening a covered account, and
    2. authenticating customers, monitoring transactions, and verifying the validity of change of address requests, in the case of existing covered accounts.

    RESPONSE TO DETECTED RED FLAGS

    The University shall respond appropriately, considering the degree of risk posed, to any red flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft, considering the following.

    Aggravating factors that may heighten the risk of identity theft, such as a data security incident that results in unauthorized access to a customer’s account records held by the University or a third party, or notice that a customer has provided information related to a covered account held by the University to someone fraudulently claiming to represent the University or to a fraudulent Web site.

    Appropriate responses to detected red flags may include the following:

    1. monitoring a covered account for evidence of identity theft;
    2. contacting the customer;
    3. changing any passwords, security codes, or other security devices that permit access to a covered account;
    4. reopening a covered account with a new account number;
    5. not opening a new covered account;
    6. closing an existing covered account;
    7. not attempting to collect on a covered account or not selling a covered account to a debt collector;
    8. notifying law enforcement; or
    9. determining that no response is warranted under the particular circumstances.

    RISK ASSESSMENT AND PROGRAM UPDATE

    Periodically, the Program Administrator will work with relevant offices to determine whether the University offers or maintains covered accounts. As part of this determination, the University will conduct a risk assessment, taking into consideration:

    1. the methods the University provides to open accounts;
    2. the methods the University provides to access accounts; and
    3. the University’s previous experiences with identity theft.

    Each University office designated by the Program Administrator shall comply with the guidelines set forth in this policy as well as other applicable University policies and procedures including but not limited to the Safeguarding Financial Information Policy (aka, the GLBA Policy).

    The University shall update the program periodically to reflect changes in risks to customers and to the safety and soundness of the University from identity theft based on factors such as:

    1. experiences of the University with identity theft;
    2. changes in methods of identity theft;
    3. changes in methods to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft;
    4. changes in the types of accounts that the University offers or maintains; and
    5. changes in the business arrangements of the University, including mergers, acquisitions, alliances, joint ventures, and service provider arrangements.

    The Program Administrator will coordinate with the University’s Internal Auditor to maintain the identity theft prevention program.

    SERVICE PROVIDERS

    The University shall exercise appropriate and effective oversight of service provider agreements. When engaging a service provider to perform an activity in connection with one or more covered accounts, the University should take steps to ensure that the activity of the service provider is conducted in accordance with reasonable policies and procedures designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate the risk of identity theft.

    The University may require the service provider by contract to perform in accordance with the previous paragraph of this section, and to report any red flags to the University or to take appropriate steps to prevent or mitigate identity theft.

    EVALUATION/ADJUSTMENT

    The University shall evaluate and adjust the identity theft prevention program as appropriate. At least annually, the Program Administrator should receive a report from designated employees regarding the University’s compliance with the identity theft prevention program. The Internal Auditor shall periodically audit the University’s compliance with this policy.  

    EMPLOYEE TRAINING

    The University shall train employees, as necessary, to effectively implement the program. The Office of the General Counsel shall be responsible for the development of any training necessary to effectively implement the program.

    APPENDIX A

    5 Categories and 26 Examples of Red Flags

    1. Alerts, notifications, or other warnings received from consumer reporting agencies or service providers, such as fraud detection services
      1. A fraud or active duty alert is included with a consumer report.
      2. A consumer reporting agency provides a notice of credit freeze in response to a request for a consumer report.
      3. A consumer reporting agency provides a notice of address discrepancy.
      4. A consumer report indicates a pattern of activity that is inconsistent with the history and usual pattern of activity of an applicant or customer, such as:
        1. a recent and significant increase in the volume of inquiries;
        2. an unusual number of recently established credit relationships;
        3. a material change in the use of credit, especially with respect to recently established credit relationships; or
        4. an account that was closed for cause or identified for abuse of account privileges by a financial institution or creditor.
         
       
    2. The presentation of suspicious documents
      1. Documents provided for identification appear to have been altered or forged.
      2. The photograph or physical description on the identification is not consistent with the appearance of the applicant or customer presenting the identification.
      3. Other information on the identification is not consistent with information provided by the person opening a new covered account or customer presenting the identification.
      4. Other information on the identification is not consistent with readily accessible information that is on file with the University, such as a signature card or a recent check.
      5. An application appears to have been altered or forged, or gives the appearance of having been destroyed and reassembled.
       
    3. The presentation of suspicious personal identifying information, such as a suspicious address change
      1. Personal identifying information provided is inconsistent when compared against external information sources used by the University. For example:
        1. the address does not match any address in the consumer report; or
        2. the Social Security Number (SSN) has not been issued, or is listed on the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File.
         
      2. Personal identifying information provided by the customer is not consistent with other personal identifying information provided by the customer. For example, there is a lack of correlation between the SSN range and date of birth.
      3. Personal identifying information provided is associated with known fraudulent activity as indicated by internal or third-party sources used by the University. For example:
        1. the address on an application is the same as the address provided on a fraudulent application; or
        2. the phone number on an application is the same as the number provided on a fraudulent application.
         
      4. Personal identifying information provided is of a type commonly associated with fraudulent activity as indicated by internal or third-party sources used by the University. For example:
        1. the address on an application is fictitious, a mail drop, or a prison; or
        2. the phone number is invalid, or is associated with a pager or answering service.
         
      5. The SSN provided is the same as that submitted by other persons opening an account or other customers.
      6. The address or telephone number provided is the same as or similar to the account number or telephone number submitted by an unusually large number of other persons opening accounts or other customers.
      7. The person opening the covered account or the customer fails to provide all required personal identifying information on an application or in response to notification that the application is incomplete.
      8. Personal identifying information provided is not consistent with personal identifying information that is on file with the University.
      9. Where the University uses challenge questions, the person opening the covered account or the customer cannot provide authenticating information beyond that which generally would be available from a wallet or consumer report.
       
    4. The unusual use of, or other suspicious activity related to, a covered account
      1. Shortly following the notice of a change of address for a covered account, the University receives a request for a new, additional, or replacement card or a cell phone, or for the addition of authorized users on the account.
      2. A new revolving credit account is used in a manner commonly associated with known patterns of fraud patterns. For example:
        1. the majority of available credit is used for cash advances or merchandise that is easily convertible to cash (e.g., electronics equipment or jewelry); or
        2. the customer fails to make the first payment or makes an initial payment but no subsequent payments.
         
      3. A covered account is used in a manner that is not consistent with established patterns of activity on the account. There is, for example:
        1. nonpayment when there is no history of late or missed payments;
        2. a material increase in the use of available credit;
        3. a material change in purchasing or spending patterns;
        4. a material change in electronic fund transfer patterns in connection with a deposit account; or
        5. a material change in telephone call patterns in connection with a cellular phone account.
         
      4. A covered account that has been inactive for a reasonably lengthy period of time is used (taking into consideration the type of account, the expected pattern of usage, and other relevant factors).
      5. Mail sent to the customer is returned repeatedly as undeliverable although transactions continue to be conducted in connection with the customer’s covered account.
      6. The University is notified that the customer is not receiving paper account statements.
      7. The University is notified of unauthorized charges or transactions in connection with a customer’s covered account.
       
    5. Notice from customers, victims of identity theft, law enforcement authorities, or other persons regarding possible identity theft in connection with covered accounts held by the University
      1. The University is notified by a customer, a victim of identity theft, a law enforcement authority, or any other person that it has opened a fraudulent account for a person engaged in identity theft.
       

    Original Issue Date: April 23, 2009